Rawsome Health

A raw foods diet could help control your weight and enhance your health. Is it right for you?

| January/February 2006

A raw foods diet is quite a commitment, but with the increased nutrition, weight-loss possibilities and detoxification possible, you might want to consider this lifestyle change. And if you’re not quite ready for such a dramatic change, just adding some delicious raw recipes to your diet can enhance your health and fight premature aging.

A raw foods diet is exactly that: raw foods. No cooking, no grilling, no steaming, no application of heat of any kind. Why? Because eating food that is closest to its natural state engenders a tremendous exchange of energy between food and body. The result, over time, is a feeling of buoyant, radiant health.

A raw foods diet is predominantly raw vegan. Raw foods are still “living,” in a manner of speaking. They may be dehydrated, frozen or fermented, but at no time have they been heated to a temperature of more than 110 degrees. Their enzymes and nutrients are intact. If you set these foods in their whole form into soil and watered them, many would sprout.

So Why Do We Cook Food, Anyway?

The predominance of cooked food harkens back to our nomadic days, when meat was the most important element of our diet. Cooking meat destroyed bacteria and smoking or curing meat allowed it to be kept for long periods of time. We needed fire for warmth and protection; we grew accustomed to warm foods and hot drinks. These habits have been carried forward through generations to today.

The reason cooked food smells so appealing is that its flavors and nutrients are being evaporated by the heat and are passing from the food into the air. But once the food is cooked, it often requires lots of salt, sweetener, spices and fat to make it taste better.

Steamed vegetables (ostensibly among the healthiest of cooked foods) are usually heated to about 212 degrees. Unfortunately, many vitamins lose potency at a mere 130 degrees. Vitamins D, E and K are destroyed in cooking. High temperatures decrease levels of vitamin C and most of the B-complex vitamins in food. The loss of vitamin B1 from cooking can be from 25 to 45 percent, and B2 loss can be from 40 to 48 percent.

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